Message from the CEO

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Message from the CEO

As the effects of the pandemic on the global economy were just beginning to be felt, coupled with unexpected events worldwide, 2022 witnessed significant developments that deeply affected many countries. These challenges included issues such as inflation, an energy crisis, and problems with raw material supply and logistics.

As Akiş REIT, we had planned our priorities for 2022 to focus on increasing rental income and reducing our loan debt following the challenging pandemic period. Simultaneously, we aimed to continue embodying sustainability, an integral part of our corporate culture, across all areas. Furthermore, our key priorities included enhancing customer experience through innovation-driven efforts in operations front, fostering a more inclusive venture ecosystem in the retail sector and integrating it into our business model in a value-added manner, as well as establishing ourselves as a preferred employer brand by providing equal social opportunities in the business world.

As we reflect on 2022, a period marked by our continued efforts to distinguish ourselves with a visionary perspective in line with global trends, it also stands out as a time when shopping volumes in the stores across our shopping malls experienced a substantial increase and turnover records were consistently broken. We are leaving behind a period in which we reached an occupancy rate of around 99% in 2022, particularly driven by planned expansions undertaken and new leases secured by some major brands. Akasya Shopping Center stands out from its competitors with a unique store mix despite the growing competition recently. Similarly, Akbatı Shopping Center maintains its success by offering a tailored store mix and a living space concept that caters to the needs of its local region. At the same time, thanks to the success of Akkök Holding and our approach that emphasizes the culture of corporate identity, Akiş REIT successfully raised its Corporate Governance Rating from 96.33 to 96.35 as of the end of 2022.

Through our dedicated efforts in the field of sustainability, we have been the first and only REIT included in the Istanbul Stock Exchange Sustainability Index as of 2022. As Akiş REIT, we remain committed to publishing our Sustainability Reports and implementing significant initiatives in the field of environmental sustainability in the upcoming period. Looking at the activities we have carried out in recent years, it is safe to say that we have accomplished significant milestones, including the measurement and reporting of our carbon footprint, the attainment of ISO:14001 Environmental Management System, and ISO:45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System certificates for Akbatı Shopping Mall and Akasya Shopping Mall within our portfolio, accredited by DAkkS – German Accreditation Body. Furthermore, both Akbatı and Akasya have been awarded the internationally recognized I-REC certificate, signifying their commitment to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable green energy. As Akiş REIT, we have successfully achieved all our short-term sustainability targets, and we are dedicated to establishing and realizing targets that can serve as an industry benchmark for 2023 and beyond.

As we persist in our innovation-driven endeavors to meet the increased service expectations of customers in today’s dynamic world, we also uphold our commitment to fostering an ecosystem by supporting new initiatives and integrating them into all our business models. Through the ‘Innovate21st Investment and Acceleration Program,’ a collaborative initiative implemented in recent years, numerous startups offering solutions, products, and services for real estate technologies have earned the opportunity to experience their demos and secure venture investments, thanks to our calls for innovative proposals. As part of these initiatives, we have opened Turkey’s first circular store with Nivogo, Turkey’s first venture in the field of circular retail, at Akasya Shopping Mall in August 2022. We plan to persist in our commitment to shaping the future by further increasing investments, totaling approximately USD 1 million, in transformative technologies across diverse platforms.

As Akiş REIT, which advocates equal social opportunities in the business world as in every field, we take pride in pioneering another achievement in our sector with the receipt of the Equal Women at Work Certificate following an independent audit conducted in collaboration with the Sustainability Academy and the British audit company, Intertek. As part of our commitment to becoming a preferred employer, we have prioritized the realization of our commitments and discourse on equal opportunities. We will continue to prioritize initiatives aimed at enhancing the lives of all our employees, especially our female employees.

Thanks to our flexible and adaptable structure, we will persist in maintaining our strength and pioneering position in the sector by swiftly adapting to the conditions of today’s world, just as we have done in previous periods.

Best regards,

Levent Çanakçılı
General Manager